There are many methods that people use to relax and unwind after a stressful day/week, I have tried a lot of different methods such as reading, listening to music, gardening. The list goes on and on. But the most effective method I found was actually making dumplings from scratch. Including my own dumpling skins.
When I mentioned I was making dumplings to a friend of mine, she requested me to give her my recipe for dumplings. As the dumpling trend is still going around town, I have decided to share my recipe with all of you.
Makes approximately 90 dumplings (depends on size of dumpling skin)
2 cups high protein flour (I use bread flour)
1 cup ordinary plain flour
1 cup cold water
a pinch of salt
extra flour for dusting surface
- Place both flours into a large bowl, make a well in the centre. Add salt and cold water
- Mix flour and water until it clumps into a dough.
- Knead dough for 10 minutes (this develops the gluten in the flour, creating a chewier dumpling skin)
- Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for another 10 minutes.
*the dough may seem dry and hard at first but after the kneading process it gets much softer.
Garlic Chive and Pork filling
Makes 1.5kg of dumpling filling
1kg coarse pork mince*
3 bunches garlic chives, finely chopped** (if unavailable, substitute 300g frozen spinach, excess moisture squeezed out and skip the salting process)
3 spring onion, finely sliced
5cm piece ginger, minced
1½ tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon chicken powder**
1 cup water
2 tablespoon corn flour
3 tablespoon sesame oil
- Place the chopped garlic chive into a bowl, add the salt and mix until well incorporated. Leave for 5 minutes to draw out the excess moisture.
- In a large bowl, place salted garlic chive and all the rest of the ingredients except cornflour, water and sesame oil. Mix well with a wooden spoon or hand in One Direction. (This is important because when you mix the pork mince in the same direction, it develops the proteins in the pork)
- Add the cornflour,water and sesame oil to the mix and continue mixing in the same direction until well combined.
- Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Points to Note:
- Choose a good fat to meat ratio pork mince, I usually go 60% lean meat, 40% fatty meat. The fat in the mixture may seem a lot but it helps keep the filling juicy.
- The excess liquid from the salted garlic chive is not added to the pork mixture because it would make it too salty.
- If you started mixing the pork mixture in a clockwise direction, do not change half way and go anti clockwise as that will destroy the developed proteins.
- Water is required to thin out the mixure otherwise when you cook the dumplings the fillings will be tough and hard.
- Sesame oil is for the aroma, the more the merrier.
*I have experimented using different types of pork mince and I have found that those from supermarkets are too minced. I buy mine from an Asian butcher but you can get your local butcher to mince some up for you, if you do ask for the pork neck/ collar butt cut of meat.
**The garlic chives and chicken powder are available at good Asian groceries.
Pork and Garlic Chive Dumpling
Makes approximately 180 dumplings
2 portions Dumpling skin. Alternatively you can buy ready made dumpling skins
1 portion Dumpling filling
Soy sauce, Chinese black vinegar (Chinkiang vinegar), chilli oil to serve
- Divide dumpling dough into 2cm balls. Using a rolling pin, roll out into a round piece, around 1mm thick.
- Place a tablespoon of the dumpling filling into the centre of dumpling skin and fold in half into a half moon shape.
- (Optional) Place the half moon dumpling in the centre of fingers and using both thumbs squeeze the sides to shape the dumpling.
- Place the dumplings onto a floured baking tray.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place into the freezer
- Freeze for atleast 24 hours and then transfer into freezer bags for easier storage.
To cook the dumplings:
Bring a large pot of water to boil, add the dumplings and quickly give it a stir to prevent them from sticking to the bottom.
- Fresh dumplings, cook for 5 minutes
- Frozen dumplings, cook for 10 minutes
When the dumplings have floated to the surface, add a large cup of cold tap water. When the water comes back to a boil, the dumplings are ready.
Some people skip the process of adding cold tap water and allow it to boil for a further couple of minutes, I find that doing this, the dumpling skin is more prone to being over cooked and soggy. So I always add cold water like how grandma taught me.
I like mine with Chinese black vinegar and lots of homemade chilli oil.